Garage Watching: Jack Olsen’s Retro Retreat

Jack Olsen's retro garage.I’m afraid it’s true. My car sickness extends beyond the cars themselves; beyond the posters and the slot cars and the models and books. Now I’m sick with places to keep it all. I’m sure this isn’t news to most of you. This is practically a support-group for people with automotive illness.

As a result, I find myself from time to time wading through the projects at the Garage Journal forums. Most of the garages are the stuff of pure fantasy. Pole barns and hangars and “Garage Mahals” of endless square footage. Recently a call was put out on the forum for a return to normalcy—or at least a reduction in envy. “Let’s see your 2 car garage”, seems like a normal enough request.

Jack Olsen stepped up with a fantastic space to house his marvelous track car: a ’73 911 RSR tribute. The car is a beauty; built on a ’72 911 chassis, the engine bay hides a 993 power plant mated to a ’77 transaxle. She’s light too, with fiberglass bodywork and Lexan windows. Plus I’m just a sucker for the duck tail. He’s done a wonderful job on it. Especially after a decent smashup with the tire wall forced him to rethink things a bit (see the link above for the grisly photos).

RSR tribute
But let’s look again at this great little 440 square foot car hole. I love the color palette and it’s a smart use of the space. These colors and cabinets remind me a lot of hanging out with my grandfather in his lawnmower repair shop. Does it seem like everything used to be that shade of Stanley Thermos meets Dickies coveralls green?

I also like John’s clever use of reclaimed cabinets, folding workspaces, and the idea of isolating the air compressor in the crawlspace probably helps conversations in the space. Mostly though, I like that this garage feels homemade and not like a swarm of garage contractors breezed in and manufactured perfection on the spot. It looks cared for and crafted.

Finally I can reset my garage fantasies to come back to reality a bit. Good job, Jack.

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